Ruth Goodson, MD
Ruth Goodson, MD
Family Medicine · San Diego, CA

Global Health Trip to Andahuaylillas, Peru

April 20th
Andahuaylillas, Peru

Project Description

We will be working with a local team to set up clinics, health fairs and outreach events to reach the local community for a two-week trip in this region. We will also have dedicated time for home visits for those who cannot access our clinic for various reasons, including palliative care services and visits to the elderly.

Population Served

This region of Peru has a population of about 5,500 who are mostly of Quechuan descent and work in agriculture. As an agrarian society, musculoskeletal issues such as chronic back/neck/knee pain, hypertension, and mental health needs are common among this population. There is no hospital or emergency services so people with acute health issues cannot access the care they need. Additionally, since most of this population is of Quechuan descent, they do not traditionally get as many resources as other Peruvians and as such have decreased access to care.

Expected Impact

We expect to help people with acute and chronic medical conditions receive the empathetic and holistic care they deserve by bringing the care directly to their local communities. We expect people's chronic pain to be relieved (whether by injections, stretching, or a listening ear), acute issues to be resolved, and mental health issues to be addressed in a compassionate and nonjudgmental manner. Encounters with those of another culture and society always impact us as much as we hope to impact them. We hope to decrease suffering for the locals of this community.

Trip Photos & Recap

Our global health trip to Andahuayillas, Peru was an unforgettable experience. We had the opportunity to live and work in a small community for ten days of clinics, health fairs, and outreach programs - I even started recognizing people around town by the end of our trip! We set up our clinics in schools, shops, homes, and a new clinic building. We made home visits to critically ill or bedbound patients walking around town with our medications in backpacks, and delivered care to people who couldn't have gotten it any other way. We took care of hundreds of children, who wanted to play tag or games with a beach ball as much as they wanted vitamins to prevent anemia. There were opportunities to relieve suffering everywhere, both big and small. We provided relief from the pain of severe osteoarthritis with joint injections, even giving them in a little tienda on the corner to a shopkeeper and his wife. We gave one woman with severe kyphosis who was unable to walk a new, taller cane - and she found she could walk again! We also saw the joy on one man's face as we found the right pair of glasses for him - he teared up as he could finally read again (importantly, since we had just given him new medication). We also provided what palliative medications we had to a woman dying in her home with dementia and recurrent pneumonia. This was an incredible global health experience and I am so grateful to Doximity for making this all possible during my residency. Thank you!!